Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Me Mudder

My Mother.

Today i was on the treadmill and i got to thinking about my Mom.

Her life has been a hard life.

She married a mean man at a young age. And suffered for it.

She lost her parents too early.  And mourned it.

She dealt with difficult kids. And grew from it.

You see, my Mom is the strongest human being that i know.  She loves fiercely.  She is convicted of the truth and fights for it. No matter the cost.

She is a loving sister, auntie, friend, wife, mother and grandma.

Everything that she touches is with love. A purpose.

She has been thrown under the bus many times by those who she loves. And yet she continues loving them.

She has taken falls for us--from us.

There is an inner strength in her that i have never encountered.  She is truly a light to this world.  With such valid thoughts, opinions, concerns and care.

I remember at a young age, when she was dealing with the boys and their rebellious years, thinking that no matter what, i am going to protect her my whole life.

I remember being very young and understanding that her first husband certainly didn't protect her, her boys seemed to run wild, and she had lost her Dad, her shining star.  But i remember consciously thinking, no matter what happens in life, i'm going to defend her, protect her and stand up for her. Right or wrong.  I wouldn't let her down.

Now as i have grown older i have become a bit opinionated and mouthier and we have argued, faced indifference, and knocked heads, and sometimes i was mad.  And i regret even the very moment that i didn't stand by her. Understand where she was coming from and allow her to just be her. Let her love how she loves with out feeling i needed to give my two cents.

I talk to my Mom every day. I try to see her as much as possible and i appreciate, love and thank God for her every day.

I often think of how i would feel if i didn't have them. Would my life go on?

It certainly would be a deep, deep void. With out my Moms voice in it.

I would miss her witty humor, her wise answers, her loving arms, her kind spirit, and her smile.

I am so thankful that i have her today. There are so many people (my own family included) that choose to hold grudges. Keep a tally of rights and wrongs.

And that really bothers me.  I just don't see it and I can't understand it.


For what?

You miss out on life when you choose to strong arm the ones you love.  We need to forgive, to embrace and to enjoy every beautiful second that we are blessed with.

I don't ever want to live with regret. Especially when it comes to family.

There's just about nothing any of them could do that would make me turn my back on them forever. (but boy oh boy--has it gotten close)

Because in the end, that would hurt me the most.

I know there are so many dynamics and so many wrongs that are suffered in each family. Believe me, i know--i've felt 'em too.

But what is life with out your family?

Not just your cocoon of kids. But our Moms and Dads. Our siblings. Our cousins. Our Aunts and Uncles. Nieces and nephews. Our grandparents.

Whether we see them every week or once a year. Embrace those moments.

Because they are passing right before our very eyes.

My Mom is on my mind this morning as i think of all that she does to make life a better place.  All that she gives. And how hard she tries, just to leave this life brighter and better than the day before.

Now, if ya got a beef with my Mom and you don't agree with what i am saying....then you got a beef with me.  And let me just tell you, together we are a pretty mighty combination. I wouldn't mess with that. :)

I'd take bullet for my mom. physical or verbal. (amiright?)

So many people say, "well, if they needed me, of course i'd be there."  And that bugs me. If they needed you? Like if they were going to get hit by a car, you would push them out of the way?

Well, Yea--i'd probably do that for a stranger. That's not that spectacular.

Whats spectacular is being there every day. Putting in your time. Trudging through the rough parts of life and not giving up. Its about fighting for a cause, but loving in the same breath. Its about protecting. Its about putting someone else first and not thinking about yourself. Its about never giving up. Its about sticking together, even when you feel like falling apart. Its about the love of a family--dysfunctional or not.

Cause we've all got dysfunction. Right? And behind all the fighting is hurt, and if we could--only for a brief second--try to understand that pain and the life someone else has lived and give them grace, wouldn't this whole world--especially the family unit--be a better place? A safer place to lay your head? A place that was uplifting and encouraging and filled with love?

The answer is yes.

Here's the bottom line. My Mom is the best.


I'd give up my life for hers. I'll fight for her. I will protect her. I will laugh with her.(Oh, the laughter--its heaven sent) I will understand her. I will see through her eyes. I will extend grace. I won't live a day with out her in it. I will always return to her. Cause God gave us something real special when he gave us a mother.

And i, for one, don't want to waste a moment of time without mine.

There is strength, power, love, kindness, laughter, encouragement, care, concern, fiery protection, understanding, righteousness, and faithfulness in her eyes. And i'm so darn glad she calls me daughter!

I love you Momma.

1 Peter 4:8 "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ups & Downs

Jeromy and i would both agree--this has been the hardest year of our lives. Lots of changes, lots of frustrations, lots of confusion and lots of attacks.

And we were in the midst of one this last week. We were being attacked by someone full of greed and selfishness and it was pulling us down. (but that's another blog)

We were fighting through it--fighting through our own control over our feelings and the injustices of life and the hypocrisy that we often face that makes our heads spin! Lets just say i was digging down deep, to get through this.

Fighting the hate i felt in the situation and the feeling of wanting to air out all the truths of what has gone on in our life and the want to air all the unjust actions that have taken place.

I was fighting to ignore.

Not something i am good at, but something i am learning to do when faced with these, all too familiar, situations.

I had a bad few days. A shut off few days. A dark few days.

I knew i would get through it. I was mad about something that happened that was out of our control and that anger can sometimes consume me. And i was fighting it.

Trying to pull myself up and to move forward. Trusting that God was in control and no matter the outcome--whether he resolved it for our earthly eyes or not. I knew he was with us and that he knew the truth. The rest was not up to us. Our job is to trust and allow God to work--even when things don't seem to go in our favor.

That's really hard for me. I'm more of a "Meet me on the hill" kind of girl, ya know.

I fretted over my feelings because just a few days before this happened i prayed--aloud--that God would just give me eyes to focus on heaven, not the earthly problems and the flesh that sometimes distract us.

And wouldn't ya know--like God always does, He heard me and brought something into my life that would test if i was looking up or if i was living on earth and clinging to earthly things.  (you know, like FAIRNESS!!)

And as i silently struggled internally to get my focus right, i was torn. I felt like my focus was right. I didn't want "stuff" but i did want justice. I always want it. But never the less, God reminded me that justice isn't mine, but His. And he will handle all things according to his timing.

To top that off, Jeromy and I had a ball game on Friday night and i played terribly.  Terribly. Which for me--is rock bottom.  I was frustrated. I was talking to my Dad and apologizing for being bad and explaining that this has been my worst year in ball ever. (not that he hadn't already witnessed that) Ugh. It felt like the bottom.

Then that next day Ruby came home from school acting like a bear. Like a total bear. And i just couldn't handle it. I felt like there was nothing i was doing right and that no one was looking out for me. Even God. I felt like he always choose the other team to defend. And it just stung. (Kind of sounds a little dramatic now as i type it--but its how i felt)

Ruby literally yelled and screamed and kicked and got a time out, a spanking, lost money and tv all in about an hour of being home. It was bad.  I felt like i didn't even know what to do with her. My girl. My precious girl who is constantly battling me and yet so darn protective of me in the same breath. Its enough to confuse a  Mom--i'll tell ya that.

Regardless, we went to Juniors open house and Ruby was even mad there, and Jeromy and i were at the end of our ropes as well.

"What are we going to do with her?"  "How can we parent her better?" "Maybe she just needs time to unwind after school?"  "Does she need her own room?"  "More space?"....

These were the questions we talked about in the car ride home.  We stopped at DQ for a little outside celebratory dinner. (Ruby didn't get a treat though--as punishment for her attitude)

In the car ride home, she was talking mean to her sister and i told her that "if she was going to talk like that she could stay in this car until she remembered how to talk kindly!"

And when we got home. She quietly asked me if we could "sit in the car for a bit?"

Jeromy looked at me and i noddeed my head and he took the other kids inside and Ruby and i sat.

"Whats up" i asked her, feeling frustrated.

And that's when her angry demeanor turned soft and her lip started to quiver.

"Today at school..." she said

"When i was going to sit down in my desk.....Will kicked my chair away..."

"What!? Did you sit down or did you see him do that?" i asked her.

" I didn't see him and i sat down and missed the chair and i fell....and it hurt my back...."  (those of you who know her know she has a bad back if she sits hard on her tailbone)

'"WHAT!!!" I said, as my head started to spin-- time standing still.  I felt completely broken and helpless to know my girl had had these little feelings all bottled up in her all day. That she was on the receiving end of a not-so-funny prank....Guh. What do you do with that?

"Oh Ruby, i am so sorry..." i said.

" I felt like i wanted to cry...but i didn't." she responded--chin quivering.

We continued talking and she explained the situation and how and when it happened and how it hurt her and embarrassed her and she didn't know what to do.

I went into full blown protective mode and felt the weight of her sadness unloaded onto my shoulders.
I asked her if the teacher saw or anyone else and she said no, they didn't.

Obviously i assured her that i was going to call that teacher in the morning and let her know about it and that Will would likely apologize for his action. And i tried (even though i felt mad at him too) to explain that Will was probably just trying to be funny and that he didn't know it hurt you and maybe he got nervous after you fell too. That just kids. And we need to remember that when we are teasing or laughing at our own brother and sister-- Its not funny when you are on the other end of a joke.

My heart broke for my baby girl. She is so strong and so silent. Of course she would just bottle that all up and not know how to handle it and then explode at home--where she is safe.

Ugh. It just hurt me. And it hurt Jeromy. To know that our baby was sad.

That moment in the car, i felt it, i felt the switch. I felt God finally taking my hate and my anger away and my frustrations with life and things i can not control and reminding me of all that is important and the importance of just loving my kids. Being there for them. Protecting them. And teaching them. Being thankful for what i do have.

Suddenly i was through the mess and back in reality. Focusing on what i could do.(Hallelujah)

And i was so thankful to be out of the pit. I don't like it there, and sometimes God has to help lift me out of it. Its a reminder that He didn't put me there. That man and the fallen flesh that is our human bodies put me there.

Flesh. It just gets in the way!!

I ended up having a fantastic few days with my family and my parents and my sibling and my cousins and aunts and uncles celebrating a wedding and the unity of two people!! We danced, we sweat, we laughed--we laughed some more--and we danced some more! It was an absolutely wonderful weekend away.

There is so much to be thankful for and so much that hinders our eyes from seeing it.  I am thankful--for this moment--and this day for all the many blessings that i do have.

Life just does't get much better than being with the ones you love!!